The following are general recommendations for this procedure. Please refer first to any information given at your consultation as the following instructions may have been modified for your individual situation.  If you have any questions, please call our office.

After Tooth Extraction

Home Instructions After the Removal of a Single Tooth


After a tooth extraction, it’s important for a blood clot to form to stop the bleeding and begin the healing process. That’s why we ask you to bite on a gauze pad for 30-45 minutes after the appointment. If the bleeding or oozing still persists, insert another gauze pad and bite firmly for another 30 minutes. You may have to do this several times.

After the blood clot forms, it is important not to disturb or dislodge the clot as it aids healing. Do not rinse vigorously, suck on straws, smoke, drink alcohol or brush teeth next to the extraction site for 72 hours. These activities will dislodge or dissolve the clot and retard the healing process. Limit vigorous exercise for the next 24 hours as this will increase blood pressure and may cause more bleeding from the extraction site.


After the tooth is extracted you may feel some pain and experience some swelling. An ice pack or an unopened bag of frozen peas or corn applied to the area will keep swelling to a minimum. Take pain medications as prescribed. The swelling usually subsides after 48 hours.


This is normal following surgical procedures, and the most severe discomfort is usually within the first six (6) hours after the anesthetic wears off.  It is our goal to minimize this discomfort.  If you are able to, take Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDS, such as Ibuprofen or Aleve).  Good options include one of the following:

– Over the counter Aleve (Naproxen) –1-2 tablets every 12 hours

– Over the counter Advil (Ibuprofen 200mg) – up to 3 tablets every 6 hours

If able, use one of the above options for the first 3 days following surgery to be taken on a scheduled basis even if little or no pain is experienced. By “staying ahead” of the pain, less overall use of medicine is usually accomplished. If you find the Ibuprofen/Advil or Aleve inadequate, begin using 1-2 regular strength Tylenol (325 mg tablets each) every 6 hours in addition to the Ibuprofen/Advil or Aleve. 

If you are unable to take NSAIDS, 1 Extra Strength Tylenol (500mg), or 1-2 Regular Strength Tylenol (325mg each) is often sufficient when started prior to the anesthetic wearing off, and then continued on a schedule every 6 hours.

Oral Hygiene

It is important to resume your normal dental routine after 24 hours. This should include brushing and flossing your teeth at least once a day. This will speed healing and help keep your mouth fresh and clean.


After a few days you will feel fine and can resume your normal activities. If you have heavy bleeding, severe pain, or a reaction to the medication, call the office immediately at Winston-Salem Phone Number 336-765-5374.